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Chicken: By Priyanka Holsinger

“So what’s it going to be today?” she asked.

Your smile, as usual, is fake and bright. I come to this place once a week like a prayer, but you never remember me. Never really notice me.

“Miss? What would you like to have today?” she asked.

I heard you the first time. I’m trying to understand why you are looking at the top of my head. Why can’t you look me in the eye?

“Um….er…..” I said.

I will not stutter. I will not.

“Need more time to make up your mind?” She asked.

I don’t like it when you are patronizing. You probably think you are being sympathetic. But you are not.

“Yes. Yes, please.” I said.

That sounded like a squeak even to me.

“All righty!” she said.

Righty? What you young people say these days. It’s o.k. You run off to the next table. They probably know exactly what they want to have today. And did anyone tell you that the way you sway those huge hips is absolutely grotesque? If I had done that at your age…

“Be with you in minute!” she called.

Oh yes, take your time. I’ve got all day. I bet your mother never taught you to respect your elders.

“Ready to order Miss?” she asked.

Do you have to be so bright and cheery? I’m going to order a new dish today. Let’s just see what you have to say to that. I bet you won’t even notice.

“Um….yes.” I said.

Why am I hesitating? I’ve decided on Chicken Cordon Bleu, haven’t I?

“So…what’ll it be today?” she asked.

Stop repeating yourself, woman. And you don’t need to talk slowly. I’m not a child.

“I think …..er…..” I said.

What if I pronounce it all wrong? I don’t even know what it is. Well it’s chicken, right? And I don’t want fried chicken again today, right? What if I just point to it on the menu? Will that make you smirk?

“Excuse me. I didn’t catch that.” She said.

That’s because I didn’t order yet!

“Um……sorry.” I said.

I’m apologizing! Am I really apologizing? For what?

“Today’s special is roast chicken” she said.

Did I ask you? Did I ask for your advice, bitch? I want Chicken Cordon Bleu. That’s what I want. Not roast chicken. Not fried chicken. Not…

“Are you all right, Miss? Can I get you a glass of water or something?” she asked.

Don’t pretend to be concerned. My mother looked exactly like that just before she…

“Bluhh?” I managed

I’ve lost my power of speech! This isn’t happening. No. No. NO!

“You look a little pale. I’ll get you some water” she said.

Did I ask you for water? Did I? Did I? Answer me!!!

“Here. Have a sip, Miss” she said.

So you want to make me choke. You want to kill me. I’m on to you.

“Feeling better?” she asked.

Better? Better? Do I look better?

“Er…yes. Thanks,” I manage.

Thanks? For what? For trying to kill me?

“Are you ready to order now, Miss?” she asked.

You just tried to kill me, you bitch. Do I look like I’m ready to f-ing order?

“Yes. Yes.”

Why does it come out apologetic? You tried to kill me. You should be down on your knees. Apologize to me. Apologize!!

“Yes?” she asked.

How dare you prompt me as if I were a shy two year old? Do I look like a two year old? I’ll show you who I am. I’ll…How would you like my fork in your heart?

“Umphh…” I said.

I will not choke. You will not have that pleasure. No way. No way.

“So…what’ll it be today, Miss?” she asked.

Your heart is what I want. I’ll stick the fork right into the middle of those great big breasts and pull out your heart.

“Miss…are you all right?” she asked.

Your heart!

“Yes…I’ll have….”

Your heart!!

“The chicken….”

Your heart!!!

“The fried chicken”

No. No. No.

“P…please.”

No.

Hardline Fiction returns on June 30th.

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